Chapter Seventeen: "How To Save A Life"
"Between the lines of fear and blame
You begin to wonder why you came"
-How To Save A Life, The Fray
I stared at Dad. Part of me fearing what was going to come.
You should know what you're up against...
Those words echoed in my head as my dad watched me patiently, waiting for me to regain my composure.
I finally did. Snapping out of my surprise, I closed my open mouth.
"What am I up against, Dad?"
Dad sighed. "I have to go all the way back to the very beginning, Siberia. Way before you were born. It all started when I met your mother. I was twenty years old, still in law school. Your mother worked as a waitress at a little diner right across from the campus." He smiled fondly. "She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. I would go there everyday, hoping to get a glimpse of her. Finally, I got the courage to ask her out on a date. She said yes.
"We dated for about two weeks after that before she decided to introduce me to her parents. Her father... Siberia, your mother's father was an angel." He looked at me.
Mom never talked about her parents. She had always avoided the subject of them altogether. She would always get this wistful, bitter look in her eyes whenever they were mentioned.,
"You mean he was a nice person? That's what you mean by angel, right?" My voice was pleading, almost as if I knew what was coming next.
"No, Siberia. He was an angel as in he fell from Heaven. The whole nine days and nine nights thing."
"Dad, that's not..." I trailed off. "Angels... They don't exist."
"Yes, Siberia, they do. Your grandfather was one." There was no hesitation in his voice. When I looked into his eyes, there was only truth. Not even a hint of a lie.
I nod for him to continue although my head was reeling and I suddenly felt sick.
"Your grandfather didn't approve of me. I later realized he didn't like me because my own mother was an angel as well. My mother died when I was six, so I didn't remember her much, but your grandfather told me she was a dark angel. She was one of the angels that had fallen with Lucifer.
"Anyway, your grandfather thought I was bad for your mother. He was sure that I would end up like my mother and he wanted me to stay as far away from his daughter as possible." He looked at me. "Any questions?"
I was a little stunned and a little disbelieving. The way he was speaking, like all of this was just happened everyday, made it seem more real.
Finally, I gathered the courage to ask, "You said your mother fell with Lucifer so that's how she came to Earth, but how did mom's dad fall to Earth?"
"Your mother's father-Adam-was given permission to come to Earth. When he met your grandmother, he fell in love and traded his wings to be with her. This is the reason he was still...good. My mother, however, rebelled against God. That's why when she fell, she wasn't a good person anymore. Her wings, I can still see them. They were midnight black. My mother was a frightening woman, Siberia."
I took this information in, and then I gestured for him to go on.
"Anyway, I couldn't stay away from your mother. She couldn't stay away from me either. So we...ran away together."
My eyes widened at this news. Mom and Dad ran away together?
"Adam was angry. So angry, he used the rest of his angelic power to prevent us from something we wanted more than anything. A child. He cursed us so that we couldn't have children, Siberia."
He looked at me, I looked at him. My heart was pounding in my ears.
"Am I..." I hesitated and closed my eyes before I forced myself to continue. "Am I adopted?"
"What? No! Of course not." He looked shocked that I even thought that. "That's actually where Riven and Raveena come in."
I looked at him, eager for him to go on. I was ready to know how they were involved in this.
"Your mother was so broken, Siberia. She was desperately trying to get pregnant. No matter what we did, no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't. Adam's curse was foolproof.
"One day, I was in a church, praying. It was ironic, an angel had cursed me and there I was, praying for help. And then, as I was leaving, they came to me. Riven and Raveena. They said if I wanted a child, they could help me. They said they could reverse Adam's curse so that we could have as many children as we wanted.
"When I told your mother, she agreed. She said we should do it. She was desperate. So was I.
"They came that night. I could tell they were angels. Not half angels. Not fallen angels. I mean, they were the real deal. They weren't normal angels either. They were higher angels. More powerful than Adam or my mother."
I froze for what had to be the hundredth time. Riven and Raveena...?
Swallowing was suddenly difficult. They were...angels.
"I still remember what they told us," Dad went on, not noticing my sick expression. "'If we do this' Raveena had said. 'You have to allow us to give your child something. Something special.'
"Your mother and I just agreed. At the time, I didn't really realize what they were asking.
"Somehow, they lifted the curse. About a month later we found out she was finally pregnant. With you. When you were born, it was a fantastic day for us. The two most important days of my life was the day you were born and the day your brother was born.
"They came to collect, though. Riven never really talked much, usually it was Raveena who did all the talking. This time, though, he explained that they needed two half angels to conceive a child. Your mother and I were the first they found who were together. They knew that your body would be strong enough to carry the gift they were going to give you. No ordinary human child would be strong enough to support it.
"They went to your crib and placed this...light inside of you. It was beautiful. I felt the power of it against my skin."
"They... They placed a light inside of me?"
I just couldn't believe this. Raveena and Riven were angels. My mom and my dad were half angels. And now I had some light inside me.
Dad nodded once, his eyes tracing over my face with worry. I know I must've looked horrified. I felt horrified, but I wanted him to finish.
"And what was it?" I breathed. "The light. What does it do?"
"They called it Essence," Dad explained. "I didn't know much about it. All I knew was that Kronos wanted it."
"Kronos?" I asked, surprised. "Like the Greek god?"
"Kronos was worshipped for a long time," Dad responded wryly. "He was powerful. So powerful it made men fall to their knees. Humans instantly wanted to follow him. In those times, angels were thought of as gods. A lot of the different gods you've heard of were actually angels."
I took in this information, my brain actually was on the verge of exploding. All this new information was almost too much.
"Anyway, Kronos had attempted to steal the Essence from Michael, one of the most powerful angels in Heaven. Of course there was a fight. Michael is a warrior, the best warrior in Heaven. Naturally, Kronos lost the fight. He fled before Michael could capture him and lock him away for the rest of eternity. Michael then entrusted Raveena and Riven to hide it. They figured they would hide it for a few years and then come back to take it from you." Dad sighed. "But then, as soon as they came back to town, I felt it. Kronos was here, too. They both came to visit me. Both of them saying they felt him around just like I did. They then proceeded to tell me the Essence had tethered itself to you. Now you and the Essence are one and the only way to remove it is to-"
"-cut out my heart," I finished, recalling what Phillipe said.
Dad nodded. He didn't seem very surprised that I knew.
"Kronos has been killing girls in your place," Dad's voice was filled with quiet fury. "I don't know what this Essence is and I don't know why he wants it so bad, all I know is that he's willing to hurt you to take it, Siberia."
Dad looked straight at me, the guilt on his face tugged at my heartstrings.
"And now his son has gone and enrolled himself to your school..."
"Wait! Phillipe is his son!" I shrieked.
Dad nodded slowly.
I thought of the man from my dreams. He had looked no more than twenty. I had begun to make the connection that maybe they were related. Phillipe's eyes reminded me far too much of the man in my dreams-Kronos. But, Kronos looked so young that I never would've thought he was Phillipe's father. Older brother, sure, but father? Then I realized that he was an angel and apparently they didn't age.
"And that's all I know," Dad concluded. "Riven and Raveena know everything else. Siberia, I'm so sorry. Your mother and I were so desperate... Now you're in danger. It's all my fault."
The anguish in my dad's voice made me snap out of the confused daze I was in.
"It's not your fault, Dad. Really. I'll be fine." I reached over and squeezed his hand.
It was silent in the office after that. All I could do was mull over what had just happened.
Part of me was relieved to finally have answers, despite how completely unrealistic they seemed. The rest of me, however, was still in shock. The rest of me wished I could go back to being naïve. That I could go on pretending like I was a normal teenage girl with normal parents. That I was a girl who wasn't completely surrounded by chaos.
I thought over what Dad said. I looked over at him. He had gone back to his work. He seemed more...relaxed now.
Riven and Raveena know everything else, he had said.
I finally stood up and my dad looked up at me in surprise.
"Siberia, where are you going?"
I took a deep breath.
"To find Raveena and Riven."